Dad’s Super Rich Chocolate Fudge CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterMy Dad's rich chocolate fudge cake is legendary in our family. Was often the cake of choice for birthdays, or any celebration. I found two versions in his journal, and after several test runs, I find this to be the closest to what I remember. I tested the cake using several cocoa powders and found I really liked Guittard's Dutched Cocoa Rouge the best. It has a wonderful color and intense depth of flavor. The fudge frosting was more of a challenge, as the ones in his journal involved many steps, and many places where disasters could take place. Fortunately, my sister had his easier version, and that is what I have used for this recipe. I did take a bit of creative license with the espresso flavored chevron pattern on the top. The cake is intensely chocolate, and I found that the tiny bit of deep coffee flavor blended nicely and rounded out the overall flavor. Chocolate Mocha Roll CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterA festive roll cake with rich chocolate flavors, creamy mocha filling, topped with dark chocolate ganache and candied sliced almonds. It's impressive to look at and not too difficult to make. It does involve several steps so you need to set aside at least a couple of hours to allow for cooling of the cake, the chocolate ganache and assembling. This recipe will easily serve 10, and is perfect for Holiday dinner gatherings.
Peppermint Roll Cake with Mascarpone Cream FillingBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterPeppermint is such a great Christmas flavor, and this roll cake not only uses peppermint extract but peppermint candy canes. The cake is light and airy. The filling has a depth of flavor with the addition of the Mascarpone, while the White Chocolate Ganache is sweet and rich. The crushed candy canes sprinkled across the top, add a festive touch and a nice little crunch. Roll cakes are fun to make and can be easily changed by using different fillings and toppings. For instructions of how to make a cake into a "roll cake" go to the post "How to Make a Roll Cake" in the Tips & Techniques section of my website.Prune & Walnut Layer CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis is another of the favorite cakes that my father made. It's spicy, the prunes are rich and moist and just a bit chewy, the toasted walnuts add crunch and flavor, and the cake itself is very moist and buttery. After the cake was iced with the buttercream he would grate a bit of nutmeg over the top. The light sprinkling really added to the overall flavor, plus giving the cake a lovely finish.Spicy Pumpkin CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterFall always brings to mind certain foods. Pumpkin is certainly right up there in the top ten. This square pan cake is fast and easy to make. It's really delicious with the crunchy bits of caramel in the rich cream cheese frosting, but can be enjoyed with no toping, or simply a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy after dinner, during the day with coffee or tea, or bring as a hostess gift. It's very moist and stays fresh for several days. Fiori di Sicilia Gateau with Orange Custard FillingBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterI've recently started using and have fallen in love with this amazing floral citrusy essence called Fiori di Sicilia. Each bite feeds your sense of taste, aroma and that funny thing that taste and smell can do sometimes to just make you happy. The cake is rich, moist and light and not overly sweet. The addition of the orange and lemon in the filling adds a bit of tartness and balance. It's optional, but I like a sprinkle of chopped candied bitter orange peel over the top. It adds crunch and just another dimension to the flavors.Espresso Cake with Coffee Custard and Italian ButtercreamBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThe Espresso Cake is rich, not too sweet with delicate espresso flavors throughout. Moist layers of cake, creamy coffee custard between the layers, and light and airy Italian Espresso Buttercream all around combine to give varying levels and textures of flavor. This cake involves a bit of time, but is so worth it. Finishing it with crunchy candied almonds adds just another layer of flavor and texture. My recipe for this was inspired by a young man who wanted it to be part of the special day he proposed to his girlfriend..and yes..she said "yes".Italian Cream & Rum CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterWhile the Italian Rum Cream Cake has a long tradition, it's like many other Italian recipes in that there are hundreds of variations. My version, from my Northern Italian heritage has whipped cream, a bit of espresso, crunchy walnuts, rich chocolate, and of course, more whipped cream combine to make this a rich, multi-flavored dessert. A small piece goes a long way, and this will easily serve 10. It will stay moist and flavorful for several days.Apricot Tart Crispy ToppingBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterStone Fruit has arrived and tangy apricots are wonderful for all sorts of desserts. One of my favorite uses are tarts and pies. This simple recipe uses a buttery crust, ripe apricots and a crispy oatmeal topping. You could easily substitute peaches or nectarines and it would be equally tasty. Serve with a scoop of ice cream to round out this seasonal treat.Simple Vanilla Buttercream FrostingBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis is a very basic, very simple buttercream frosting. It works well if you don't have the time for the Italian or Swiss versions. You can change it a bit with adding different extracts, in addition to the Vanilla like Mint or Lemon, and even add a touch of food coloring. Also try adding a 1/4 cup of cream cheese instead of the sour cream for a bit different flavor and slightly different texture.Lemon Coconut CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterA delicate lemon essence infused into the cake layers, tart lemon custard, creamy, buttery frosting and sweetened coconut shreds combine to make this cake a winner for any event. One of the nice things about this cake, is that it can be made in stages. The buttercream and lemon filling can be made a day or two ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator, and the layer cake can be made well ahead and frozen. You simply just assemble it when needed. Light & Airy Chocolate CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis light and airy chocolate cake is perfect with a chocolate buttercream frosting, a coffee buttercream frosting, or sweetened whipped cream. It has a rich cocoa flavor, with an underlying hint of espresso. It's also fun to put a thin spread of seedless raspberry preserve between the layers, particularly if you are choosing the chocolate buttercream. The lightness comes from incorporating air in both the initial blending of sugar with butter, oil and egg yolks, and the secondary lightness from the egg white meringue. Remember, the lightness of the sugar/butter/egg mixture is made possible by all the ingredients being at room temperature, and beating the mixture for several minutes. Adding cold eggs or cold half & half will greatly diminish the rise and airiness of the layers.